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Int J Ophthalmol. 2018 Jun 18;11(6):970-975. doi: 10.18240/ijo.2018.06.12. eCollection 2018.

Macular pigment and serum zeaxanthin levels with Goji berry supplement in early age-related macular degeneration.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Beijing YouAn Hospital, Capital Medical University Beijing, Beijing100069, China.
Department of Ophthalmology, China Rehabilitation Research Center, Chinese Rehabilitation Science Institute, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100068, China.
Research Center, Xiyuan Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medical Science, Beijing 100091, China.



To evaluate the efficacy of Goji berry supplementation on improving macular pigment, serum zeaxanthin levels and visual acuity in patients with early age-related macular degeneration (AMD).


A total of 114 patients (aged from 51 to 92y, mean age 69.53±8.41y) with early AMD were enrolled in our prospective, randomized controlled study. The included patients were assigned randomly to the Goji group (n=57) with 25 g of Goji berries supplementation per day for 90d and the control group (n=57) with their normal diet for 90d. Macular pigment optical density (MPOD) was measured using heterochromatic flicker photometry (HFP). The levels of serum lutein (L)/zeaxanthin (Z) were analyzed using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). MPOD, serum L/Z levels and best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) were recorded at baseline and 90d.


In the Goji group, there were no statistically significant differences in the serum L levels between the baseline (0.199±0.149 µmol/mL) and 90d (0.203±0.181 µmol/mL) (t=-0.186, P=0.850); however the serum Z levels were increased at 90d (0.101±0.087 µmol/mL) compared with those at the baseline (0.029±0.032 µmol/mL) (t=6.412, P<0.001). Patients treated with Goji berry for 90d showed an elevated MPOD (0.877±0.202 DU) from the baseline (0.731±0.205 DU) (t=-4.741, P=0.000). In contrast to the control group, the serum Z levels and MPOD were higher in the Goji group at 90d (both P<0.05). At 90d, patients with Goji berry supplementation had a relative decrease in BCVA (0.21±0.18 logMAR) compared with the baseline (0.27±0.20) (t=2.397, P=0.020).


Overall, daily supplementation with Goji berry for 90d improves MPOD by increasing serum Z levels rather than serum L levels in early AMD patients. Goji berry may be an effective therapeutic intervention for preventing the progression of early AMD.


Goji berry; early age-related macular degeneration; zeaxanthin

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